Getting There:  Terror and Desire in Uneasy Times

New work by Leah Grimaldi and Charlene Liska

What do we want?  We often seem to hover in the uncomfortable regions of knowing both too much and too little.  A fifteenth century inscription in Paris’s Cimetiere Des Innocents refers to us as “Oh rational creature/who wishes for eternal life.”  The Jesuits say we’re a “being without a reasonable reason for being.”  Hank Williams says, “I’ll never get out of this world alive.”  Little wonder then, that we’re, most of the time, more comfortable with the sweetly false sentiments of Disney’s ‘When You Wish Upon a Star”:”Fate is kind./She brings to those who love/the sweet fulfillment of/their secret longings.”

In painting and video, Charlene Liska entertains the extremes of aspiration and fear, the competing bids for our attention between pop culture’s appropriations of these and blunt reality, and the places where the differences are not so easily discernible, or possibly even meaningful.

Leah Grimaldi explores the boundary where horror and seduction meet. This is a place of terror and the sublime. Using paper cut-outs with cartoonish lines and candy colors, Grimaldi constructs imaginary organic forms.  Tiny two-dimensional flesh pieces conjoin to form weighty figures, which are both disgusted by and delight in themselves and their fluid ephemerality.

extreme seductiveness is probably at the boundary of horror.
-Georges Bataille

Exhibition Dates: March 9-31, 2012
Opening: Saturday, March 10, 6-9pm
Fourth Thursday: March 22, 6-9pm

the taboo to want, the desire to engage, the coldness of guilt
the courage to let go, the upwelling of energy, the approach to the threshold
the movement of life, the flow of time and space, the ceaseless transformation

a new member show featuring installation,
prints, and drawing by Matthew Keller,
mixed media abstractions by Kelly Slater,
and kinetic sculpture by John Wilkinson.


Artwork by Atlantic Works New Members

At Atlantic Works, our new members show features three very different artists. Matthew Keller’s installation, prints and drawings are about intimate and subtle power over others, ideas of practicing restraint, thoughts of regulation of the dangers to oneself. He explores the daily give and relinquishment of power in personal communications, and the struggle to understand unknown entities.

Paintings of windows and doors have always held a special fascination for Kelly Slater. According to Slater, “Whether clearly recognizable or only merely suggestive, depictions of windows, doorways and other portals convey a sense of hopefulness and possibility–inviting us to look out onto a new vista or to cross a threshold into a different world.” In this series of abstract paintings and prints, Slater explores crossing over through the painted window and door.

In his kinetic sculptures, John Wilkinson uses common tools and materials to achieve a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. Moving through space, propelled by subtle air currents often created merely by the movement of people within that space, these sculptures establish a delicate connection between the object and the viewer. This connection gives life to the mobile. And, adds John, “it is my hope that the mobile in some way returns the favor.”

Exhibition dates: February 2–26, 2012
Opening: Thursday, February 2, 6-9pm
Third Thursday Reception: Thursday, February 16, 6-9pm

Atlantic Works presents:

Rough Trade

Looking for art that’s well-mannered and innocuous? Looking for sweet and decorative? That’s not us. We’ve got something to say. There’s a reason we’re out by the docks. If you want truth and you want it in your face, you come to us. And at Atlantic Works’s Rough Trade show for just one month, you’ll find great work for $100 or less by some of the most fun, edgy artists in the Boston area.

Come here. You know you want it.

Exhibition dates: January 6–19, 2012
Reception: Thursday, January 19, 6-9pm
Gallery hours: Fridays and Saturdays 2–6pm

An Installation by
vanessa r. thompson and Mark Natale
East Boston, July 24, 2011 The production of art is a tumultuous, visceral process, the results of which are hung on pristine gallery walls for consumption by the viewer. The production of food is a grueling, laborious process, the results of which are stacked in neatly shrink- wrapped packages in a grocer’s freezer for consumption by the shopper. vanessa r thompson and Mark Natale’s installation and photography intertwine process and product, the consumer and the consumed. Mark Natale’s black-and-white photographs of farm production hang on white walls. Behind the white walls, Thompson’s photographs hang within an installation of three claustrophobic fur-lined corridors.
Exhibit Duration: October 8-29, 2011 Opening Reception: Saturday, October 8, 6-9pm Gallery hours: Fridays through Sundays, 2-6pm or by appointment For more information or to schedule a private press viewing, email vanessa r thompson at or phone her at (617)852-2385.

About the Artists:
vanessa r thompson received her MFA at the Art Institute of Boston. She has exhibited her work throughout New England, most recently at First Fridays at 450 Harrison Ave. in Bostonʼs South End, and at Somerville open studios.

Originally from New Jersey, Mark Natale “took art class for one semester in 7th grade.” He learned about art in Europe after visiting countless galleries and national art institutes. Markʼs artistic vision is influenced by the late Ray Johnson, Yousuf Karsh and Diane Arbus. Mark has exhibited recently at Atlantic Works Gallery in East Boston, Massachusetts.
Begun in 2003, ATLANTIC WORKS GALLERY, “East Boston’s Collaborative Space for Art and Ideas,” is a member-operated gallery located on the top floor of 80 Border Street on the waterfront of East Boston. It is T-accessible (near the Maverick T stop on the Blue Line) and parking space is usually ample. For detailed directions and other information about members and past and future shows, please see

Photography by John Kennard
To schedule a private press viewing and interview at a more convenient time, please contact Richard Dorff at 617-283-7113 or

About the Gallery

Begun in 2003, ATLANTIC WORKS GALLERY, “East Boston’s Collaborative Space for Art and Ideas,” is a member-operated gallery located on the top floor of 80 Border Street on the waterfront of East Boston. It is T-accessible (near the Maverick T stop on the Blue Line).

All Images of artwork are Copyright protected
Photographs – Mark Natale at the Atlanticworks Gallery